Album Review :
Starflyer 59 - Dial M

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Artist: Starflyer 59
Album: Dial M
Label: Tooth and Nail
Release Date: 10/28/08
Reviewer: Tyler Hess

1. Minor Keys
2. The Brightest Of The Head
3. Concentrate
4. Who Said It’s Easy?
5. M23
6. Taxi
7. Automatic
8. Altercation
9. Mr. Martin
10. I Love You Like The Little Bird

Okay, I admit that I am a bit older than most people that will be reading this, but does anyone remember that film “Weird Science”?  Then there was that song that goes something like “She blinded me…with science!”  Well, for some reason the latest (and eleventh) release from Starflyer 59 just feels like it belongs somewhere in there, with his blend of indie rock, synths and darker tones give this eerie feel that makes me feel like singer Jason Martin is trying to create something different than everyone else, and does so quite effectively at times, obnoxiously at others.

The first two songs, “Minor Keys” and “The Brightest of the Head” jump right out at me and scream so many levels of awesome catchiness without a loss of lyrical value to make me wonder where I can pick up a deal on the last 14 years of SF59’s work, but then I’m hit in the gut, like a sucker, with “Concentrate”.  Want to know why it is titled “Concentrate”?  It probably has something to do with the fact that he repeats the words “I’ve got to conentrate” approximately eightteen times in this 3 minute, 9 second song (yes, I counted, it drove me nuts).  If that weren’t enough, he does something very similar in the song “Automatic” a few songs later.  Take out those two deficiences and this album would totally rock, but instead they leave me feeling wanting for more of how it all started out.  The ninth track, Mr. Martin is a bit of a slower song, but one worth mentioning just for its general ability to perk my attention with bird tweets and an interesting twist on self reflection.

Overall, this album has enough things good with it to overcome the few annoyances (that some might not be bothered by, considering that “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses was popular.  The songs are generally deeper spiritually without the cheesiness sometimes churned out to achieve it, especially in “The Brightest of the Head”.  If you want something different, something almost creepy, even though Halloween has now passed, this wouldn’t be the worst pick up.